Back Pain
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Experiences with Back Pain and Yoga

9 people have experienced Yoga. Have you?

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7 people have tried Yoga 2 people have prescribed Yoga
ColleenO
120
Has tried it
Would recommend it
Posted 8 years ago

For over 8 years I dealt with persistent lower back pain caused my a dance injury. Ultimately a number of things helped, and yoga was one of them. I used some yoga poses to help me feel better when my back pain flared up, and now I use some of those same poses to help me keep my back feeling strong and relaxed. My favorites are child pose, frog (wide squat), cat-cow, and downward facing dog.

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Posted 8 years ago

I've recommended different asanas (yoga postures) for low back pain and for neck discomfort. These are two classic stress-related sore spots for people who work at computers. I know that the various back-centered yoga restorative movements are an excellent way to build strength, flexibility and decrease discomfort.

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Posted 8 years ago

I was in a car accident at age 15 that caused a series of persistent lower back problems. My experience with Western Medicine was invasive, inconclusive, and impersonal. I was given SI joint injections in my lower back and physical therapy as treatment. The majority of the time I spent with physicians was about diagnosis, and not treatment. I was given countless x-rays, MRI's, and more. I grew exhausted and disappointed with the results of the treatment. I discovered yoga a few years later and began to see long-lasting relief of my back pain. Since that time, I have had three instances of having a slipped-disc in my lower back. There are very gentle and opening back bends (cobra pose and pelvic tilts). I am now trained as a yoga instructor. It is also important that you learn which poses benefit each specific condition - simply saying that "yoga is good for back pain" is also not entirely true. Yoga in general can strengthen and support the body, but for chronic or acute cases, there are specific postures that will help. It is important to understand this, so as not to worsen the condition, either.

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rnijhon
90
Has tried it
Would recommend it
Posted 8 years ago

Yoga can be great for back pain, especially lower back pain. I would spend all day on campus carrying a very heavy backpack with my laptop, battery, and giant textbooks, so it wasn’t too surprising when I started to develop some pretty intense aches. I have a friend who is a certified yoga instructor, and she explained to me that a lot of people have weak back muscles in general, so our lower back picks up a lot of the slack. Yoga helps to strengthen and stretch all of your back muscles, so when you use your back, weight is distributed evenly and you use more muscles groups. Your muscles also tend to tighten and tense which cause pain, so the stretching and increased blood flow help to loosen up the tense spots. She worked with me personally and I had amazing results!! (I also lost some of the unnecessary weight in my bag)

It worked great for me, and almost all of her pre-natal yoga clients see immediate results as many of them come in with back pain. Yoga helps to give you better posture and alignment that stays with you for the entire day, so you don’t end up slouching in positions that can cause pain. She also said that yoga can give you tools to breathe into strong sensations. When we feel pain, especially in the back, we tend to tighten and tense, which causes more restriction and pain. Yoga teaches you how to breathe through strong sensations and keep the muscles relaxed, thus reducing the amount of discomfort significantly. You should definitely let your yoga teacher know what your dealing with when you start, and they will totally help to customize a practice best for you!

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Posted 8 years ago

I probably never would have tried yoga if it weren't for my back pain. Then one day my parents mailed me a "yoga for back pain" dvd and I started doing the stretches. After a few days my back started to feel better, and I decided to try a few more dvds, and then I started going to classes. I found that it didn't just cure my back; yoga has improved my posture, my balance, my breath, and I now feel aware of my whole life and I'm not simply stumbling through it. So, thank you back pain. I'm indebted to you.

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quelix
20
Has tried it
Would recommend it
Posted 8 years ago

I tried yoga as a 'last resort' to debilitating back pain - I had two lumbar discs so degenerated that they were paper thin. I was in so much agony that my only alternative was surgery and I was only in my mid-30s. I felt ready for a wheelchair! With the benefit of patience and brilliant, caring, knowledgeable teachers, I was able to increase my range of motion, the variety of asanas (poses) I could attempt and my stamina. Lo and behold my lower back pain began to dissipate until it became almost non-existent. One of the happiest days of my life was when I was able to do a full backbend (in my early 40s) - something I would only have cringed at the thought of a few years earlier.

The key, however, is consistency and also using yoga as one part of a holistic system for health: a good diet, stress reduction, a loving and caring environment, mental stimulation - I believe that all these were factors too in my recovery. I went on to become a certified yoga teacher and eventually return to school for my Master's degree in Integrative Health - which I'm currently pursuing at age 45! And it all started with back pain... a blessing in disguise!

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Comments
sshowalter 8 years ago

This is a brilliantly written experience as it not only touts the clear benefits of yoga, but notes how this treatment must exist "as one part of a holistic system for health." Thank you so much quelix! (Also, are you at CIIS for you MA in Integrative Health?)

quelix 8 years ago

Yes I am! :D

vikdad1 7 years ago

What an inspirational story! Hope you almost have that masters degree!

Has prescribed it
Would recommend it
Posted 7 years ago

As always being aware comes first to listen to the response of your body as you practice. Using Yoga for back pain can help, by making space in the lower back, and to help strengthening and lengthening the hamstring muscles as well as toning the deep abdominal muscles to support the low back. Alignment and posture in general plays a big role in the state of the back body.

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Posted 8 years ago

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Yoga on Beach

I started a personal 20-minute at-home yoga practice nearly a year ago, after a bout of depression was causing me acute back pain/spasms specifically. Stretching my back daily and learning to follow my breath helped a lot more than my back pain - it helped my depression as well.

I would definitely recommend working one-on-one with a yoga practitioner, so you can be sure to be doing specific poses that are helping (and not over-using) your back muscles. Group classes can be great as well, just make sure you aren't pushing too hard!

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1 0
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Posted 8 years ago

I agree that yoga can be marvelous for helping to relieve back pain. I suffered from back pain for a long time when I was depressed and daily yoga strengthened and stretched my spine in a profound way. It was one of the best helps out there apart from swimming which also helped immensely.

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